Being young WON'T spare you from coronavirus, CDC study warns

Young people are warned they’re not ‘invincible’ to coronavirus as it’s revealed 38% of people hospitalized are between the ages of 20 to 54 and 47% of people in intensive care are under 65

  • The CDC looked at 2,500 people who were among the first coronavirus patients in the US between February 12 and March 16
  • Nearly 40 percent of those who were hospitalized were from ages 20 to 54
  • However, the risk of dying was significantly higher in older people, particularly among those in above age 80
  • President Trump and the other members of the White House coronavirus task force have warned young people that they’re not ‘invincible’ to the virus 
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called people going on spring break during the pandemic ‘reckless’ and unintelligent 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Younger American adults are also at risk of becoming seriously ill because of the novel coronavirus, a new report reveals. 

Although those who are oldest, aged 80 and above, have the greatest risk of dying, a sizeable portion of those hospitalized were younger, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Among 508 patients known to have been hospitalized between February 12 and March 16, 38 percent were between ages 20 and 54. 

And roughly 47 percent of 121 patients taken to intensive care units were under age age 65, the CDC found.

But older people were far more likely to die from the disease once in hospital – with almost three quarters of deaths occurring in those aged over 65.  

A new CDC report found that between February 12 and March 16, 38 percent were between ages 20 and 54. The graph shows the risk of being hospitalized hospital (light red bar), ending up in intensive care (mid-red bar) and dying from the virus (dark red bar) by age

Roughly 47 percent of 121 patients taken to intensive care units were under age 65, the report found. Pictured: A patient wears a protective face mask as she is loaded into an ambulance at The Brooklyn Hospital Center emergency room in New York, Wednesday

The report contradicts the notion that younger people are less likely to develop serious infections, but supports the idea that older people are most at risk from dying. Pictured: FDNY paramedics place an empty stretcher into an ambulance after delivering a patient into the emergency room at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, Wednesday

This CDC chart of some of the first US coronavirus patients shows the percentages of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths by age group

Researchers found that 20 percent of those hospitalized and 12 percent of those in intensive care were ages 20 to 44, essentially the millennial generation.

‘I think everyone should be paying attention to this,’ Dr Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, who was not involved in the report, told The New York Times. 

‘It’s not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they’re young and healthy.’ 

The research contradicts the notion that younger people are not at risk from serious coronavirus infections, though it supports the conclusion that older people are most at risk from fatal complications. 

Of the 44 people who deaths were discussed in the report, 20 were between ages 65 to 84 and 12 were aged 85 or older. 

Nine deaths among adults age 20 to 64 and none were reported in those aged 19 or younger.  

President Donald Trump’s messaging has shifted in recent days, from comparing the virus to the seasonal flu to telling young people that they’re not ‘invincible.’ 

‘We don’t want [young people] gathering, and I see they do gather, including on beaches, including in restaurants,’ he said during Wednesday’s White House briefing. 

‘They’re feeling invincible…but they don’t realize that they can be carrying lots of bad things home to grandmother and grandfather and even their parents. So we want them to heed the advice. We mean the advice. And I think it’s getting through.’ 

At the same briefing, Dr Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said she is worried about young people becoming seriously ill. 

‘There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill in ICUs,’ she said. 

‘We think part of this is people heeded the early data coming out of China and coming out of South Korea that the elderly or those with preexisting medical conditions were at particular risk.

‘It may have been that the millennial generation, our largest generation, our future generation that will carry us through for the next multiple decades, there may be disproportional infections among that group.’    

Carmine Fusco (rear center), a 55-year-old horse trainer from New Jersey, has died of coronavirus along with sister Rita Fusco-Jackson, also 55 (front right). Grace Fusco (front left), aged 73, has also been killed

‘There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill in ICUs,’ Dr Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said. Pictured: Death seen by age group in Italy

Children CAN get the virus, with the very young most at risk

Chinese researchers studying 2,000 coronavirus infections in children have found the vast majority have no or mild symptoms – but are not completely immune from serious infections.

Of the children they studied, a stunning 94 per cent had mild or no symptoms.

However, the remaining 6 per cent did go on to develop severe symptoms, with 76 per cent of those cases in those aged under 5.

But in another statistical upset, researchers identified just a single case of a young person dying from the disease in the whole of China where more than 3,000 people died.

The boy, aged 14, died in the virus epicenter of Wuhan. 

Source: Pediatrics

It comes after the deaths of several younger patients in New Jersey – including two members of the same horse-trainer family.

Carmine Fusco, 55, died on Wednesday just five days after his step-sister Rita Fusco-Jackson, also 55, passed away.

Both of their deaths were linked to John Brennan, a 69-year-old horse trainer with underlying health conditions who died last week.

At least two people aged 53 were among those killed – one in New Orleans and another in New York City.

Another 56-year-old man also died in New York, while a 58-year-old with underlying conditions also died in New Orleans.   

The report found that a majority of those ending up in hospital were younger, this is likely the result of more people in that age range being infected overall.

Older people made up a larger proportion of hospitalizations when compared to the number of initial infections. 

Chuck Sedlacek, a patient at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, has a visit from his family. The care home has been linked to a majority of deaths in the state from coronavirus

The CDC wrote: ‘The risk for serious disease and death in COVID-19 cases among persons in the United States increases with age.’ 

However, they added that no age group is immune to the effects of the virus and potentially serious complications. 

‘Social distancing is recommended for all ages to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health care system, and help protect vulnerable older adults,’ the report added.

‘Further, older adults should maintain adequate supplies of nonperishable foods and at least a 30-day supply of necessary medications, take precautions to keep space between themselves and others, stay away from those who are sick, avoid crowds as much as possible, avoid cruise travel and nonessential air travel, and stay home as much as possible to further reduce the risk of being exposed.

‘Persons of all ages and communities can take actions to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect older adults.’

Researchers stressed that the data they used is preliminary, and some conclusions were estimates based on the information available.

Scientists also had no information on underlying health conditions, which is thought to be one of the biggest factors in whether coronavirus proves fatal.

As of Wednesday night there were almost 9,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US – a jump of almost 2,000 on a day previous – with 152 deaths

Experts have warned that US cases are following an exponential curve, meaning healthcare systems will be quickly overwhelmed without urgent action

As the number of cases in the US has risen, so has the number of confirmed deaths

As of Wednesday night, almost 9,500 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the US – a jump of 2,000 from the day before.

Experts have warned state health systems will be rapidly overwhelmed if the current spread cannot be slowed down, leading to an increased death toll.

Governors across the country are now rushing to increase their intensive care capacity as quickly as they can on any piece of land available.

Authorities in Washington state – one of the states with the most cases – have issued an order to start the building of a makeshift hospital on a soccer field.

Shoreline city officials have selected the Shoreline B Soccer Field as the location of the temporary field hospital that will provide up to 200 beds for patients.

While the majority of King County residents will be able to isolate and recover in their own homes, the makeshift hospital will be used for people ‘exposed to, at risk of exposure, or becoming ill with the novel coronavirus’. 

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Maryland have already had discussions about how they can create more hospital beds for patients.

Donald Trump has advised all Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and public spaces for 15 days, with New York (Times Square pictured) almost deserted

A couple walks along a usually busy Fremont Street after casinos were ordered to shut down in Las Vegas over coronavirus fears

A Santa Monica police officer patrols the pier as the whole area is closed for the public amid the coronavirus pandemic

The US Navy has dispatched two hospital ships to the West and East coast – the USNS Comfort bound for New York and the USNS Mercy bound for the Bay Area.

On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would ask the National Guard and building developers to convert existing facilities like dormitories and former nursing homes into makeshift hospitals.

That order could add about 9,000 more beds to New York’s 53,000 already available in the state.

In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy said he is considering taking steps to increase space for patients using converted dormitories.

Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, said that the state will add 6,000 beds to the existing 9,000 beds in the state.

The Pentagon has also started playing a role in responding to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States as officials announced that two Navy hospital ships and two Army field hospitals were preparing to deploy to help overburdened regions.

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